We’ve all been there.
Enjoying a nice hot shower only to have the water suddenly change into a freezing
stream of pure shock!
Should I jump out?
Don’t be so quick to scream at your significant other for using up all the hot water and embrace the feeling.
Cold showers just might be your next health addiction.
Cold Showers 101
What’s the real reason James Bond was so calm, cool, and collected?
He had himself a “Scottish Shower” every day.
You can do it too…
Start with the water at your normal temperature.
Slowly start to decrease the temperature gradually, until it’s as cold as it gets.
Build up to 5 minutes of total cold-water time.
The list of benefits is long and worthy.
Improved Emotional Resilience
Do you find that you get frustrated easily, anxious, or get upset often?
Cold showers improve your nervous system’s ability to handle stress.
As seen in this study, a daily cold shower acts as a form of stress to your body’s central nervous system. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10396606/)
Over time, with repeated exposure, your body will adapt to this stress and become more resilient.
Improved Muscle Recovery and Reduces Inflammation
You may have heard that athletes submerge themselves in ice tubs to enhance recovery?
Kevin Hart even has a series where he interviews athletes while submerged in sub-zero temperatures.
This 2009 study revealed that people who submerged themselves in a cold tub after training had significant muscle recovery. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19357407/)
Not to worry, you can still get the same benefit without having to fill a tub full of ice… just take the cold shower challenge and you’ll be on the right path.
Try alternating between hot and cold water for 60-second bouts in the shower as it will promote blood flow, circulation, and aid in removing lactic acid, which is one of the primary factors that lead to muscle soreness.
If you’re feeling achy and stiff give this protocol a try – your muscles will thank you.
Cold Exposure Can Boost Immunity
Regular cold exposure in the form of a cold shower using the methods outlined above may help increase important immunity factors within the body.
According to this research paper, cold water exposure can give your white blood cells a boost. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8925815/)
Cold exposure has been shown to initiate the sympathetic nervous system, which increases the amount of adrenaline in the body.
This jolt of adrenaline also affects the brain, which excites anti-depressive areas leading to improved mood.
Cold showers, when performed for 2-3 minutes a day, were able to relieve depressive symptoms.
Help Promote Weight Loss
More research into cold exposure has even uncovered the ability to raise metabolism, burn more calories and drop body fat. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3895006/)
This exposure increases a type of ‘good’ fat in the body called brown fat. This fat is important for generating heat when you’re subject to colder temperatures to keep you warm.
As brown fat is activated in the body, this increases calories burned to keep your body warm.
With plenty of research to support its inclusion in a healthy lifestyle, plus its oddly addicting experience, experimenting with cold-water exposure can be a unique twist on your daily health routine.
Have you tried the cold shower challenge?
What did you think?